Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How I used their love of things gross to teach them a healthy habit

Healthy habit for the month of January: Drink more water (read post #1 here.)

"Hey kids, water is extremely good for our bodies, and we need to drink more of it."

(Do your own reading to learn how much. I know there are conflicting reports, but in this house, any of the daily recommendations seem like a HUGE jump for us, even when you factor in the milk.)

Roughly 8 cups a day.
That's per child, not per FAMILY, kids.

We focused on the following:

Benefits of drinking water

Healthy heart
Healthy skin
Healthy joints
Healthy blood flow
Eliminates toxins
Helps the body fight infection
Mental clarity
Boosts energy
Helps the body absorb nutrients and oxygen

(I didn't mention weight loss. No need to focus here with the children, though this is a benefit that I would welcome.)

Signs of dehydration

Irritability
Headache
Low energy
Illness
Poor concentration
Constipation

I printed out water-related coloring pages for them, and I added the details as they colored.
Now, we have a wall full of drinking inspiration:





The gross advantage

Of course, the boys loved talking about constipation.  So, I thought I'd take advantage of their youthful love of all things gross, and go a step further.

"How do we know if we are getting enough water?  Any guesses kids? Your body gives you an easy clue!"
(blank stares)
"It's something you can check many times a day... when you go to the bathroom! Any guesses?"
(curious heads shaking, smirks, wide eyes)

"Pay attention to the color of your urine."

(What? Really? Ba hahaha!)
They could hardly believe their mother was talking about such things at the table.
And not only did I talk about it. I drew them a picture.



"Mommy, are you sure the smiley face isn't supposed to be on the OTHER side?" said a disappointed child, post-evacuation.
"Yes, honey, I'm sure. Your body is telling you that you need more water."

They are sighing a little bit about this new habit, but I continue to remind them that it could be worse. We could be eliminating sugar, or eating 3 veggies a day.

(Insert mom's evil laugh here, and then imagine six children submissively drinking their water.)




3 comments:

  1. Our Boys Scouts call the gross color thing "Clear and Copious" Their scout master has told them all about this one!! :-) Good luck with the water drinking. You are an inspiration. Maybe we should start this...

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